Brackett Ave. project and proposed downtown ramp center stage at council meeting

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) Take a good look at Brackett Ave. in Eau Claire because by the end of July, its appearance will start to change.

At Tuesday's Eau Claire City Council meeting, council members gave the green light for a large construction project on the street to move forward.

You will see new pavement and utilities along the street. For pedestrians, intersections will be safer and include things like countdown timers.

Bikers will get a boost, too.

The project includes traffic signals that can detect bikes. Biker boxes will give riders some of their own space at some stoplights.

An amendment passed on Tuesday night could also lead to more trees along Brackett Ave.

The city will study the effects of changes at Lee and Ohm streets -- and crosswalks will be striped.

"What we saw is a city council that is wrestling with the idea of how do we best encourage all modes of transportation in our city," said Eau Claire City Council Member Andrew Werthmann about Tuesday's meeting.

Also on the agenda Tuesday night - a new parking ramp proposed to go where the post office on North Barstow Street now sits.

Council had some concerns about the design phase, which when all is said and done was expected to cost more than $400,000.

After a lengthy, spirited discussion, council decided a public hearing will be held on the ramp when schematic designs are complete. The project would not move into the construction plans phase either until council gives it an approval vote.

Through development agreement laid out with RCU and JAMF Software, the city is obligated to provide 150 parking spaces within close proximity of those buildings.

"We've just introduced the public into this process and we've brought the city council together to be unified in how we move forward," Werthmann added.


Eau Claire City Council members approve a construction project on Brackett Avenue.

The project brings a lot of changes to the road.

That includes new utilities and pavement, changes to intersections to make them safer for people crossing the road.

There are also many changes for cyclists.

That includes countdown timers at crosswalks, traffic signals that can detect bikes, more space for bikes on the road, and what's called "bike boxes,"which gives bikers their own space at a stoplight.

The council also discussed the proposed North Barstow Parking Ramp, which could go where the post office now sits.

We'll have an update on that as well, tonight at ten.

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